Our new woodlands 2021/2022

Rivers are the heart of the natural world, and healthy rivers connect woodlands, farmland, and even towns and cities, bringing life to our landscapes. If rivers are the heart, then woodlands are the lungs.

Rivers and woodlands are more connected than you might think. Woodlands provide huge benefits for rivers; helping to connect them to other habitats, providing shade to regulate rising water temperatures, filtering sediments and pollutants from rainwater, and stabilising riverbanks. That’s why we’re planting 24 new woodlands in Lancashire and North Yorkshire this winter.

This years woodlands across Lancashire in North Yorkshire
This years we’ll be planting 24 new woodlands!

It’s not just rivers that benefit from woodlands. Trees clean the air we breathe, and provide homes for hundreds of species of insect, bird, animal, and even fish, who love to use underwater roots as handy hiding places. Woodlands are also amazing spaces for our health. They provide places to exercise, have fun, connect with nature, and relax and unwind. All these things are great for our mental and physical health.

Here at Ribble Rivers Trust our aim is to improve our rivers for wildlife and people. There are many ways we do this. From removing river blocking weirs which opens up habitats for animals, to working with young people and helping to spark a passion for nature, to creating wetlands which help to regulate floor waters and protect rivers from heavy rainfall.

One of our biggest activities is tree planting. This is because woodlands and trees have such a huge range of benefits to rivers. Each of our sites is carefully chosen by analysing a huge amount of data and evidence. Statistics such as rainfall data, land use, flood risk, existing habitat quality, and woodland cover are all analysed. When displayed together, this data tells us which places will benefit the most from our work.

Lancashire woodlands